The Costs of Babylon—Linguistic Distance in Applied Economics
Linguistic distance, i.e. the dissimilarity between languages, is an important factor influencing international economic transactions such as migration or international trade flows by imposing hurdles for second language acquisition and increasing transaction costs. To measure these costs, we suggest to use a new measure of linguistic distance. The Levenshtein distance is an easily computed and transparent approach of including linguistic distance into econometric applications. We show its merits in two different applications. First, the effect of linguistic distance in the language acquisition of immigrants is analyzed using data from the 2000 U.S. Census, the German Socio-Economic Panel, and the National Immigrant Survey of Spain. Across countries, linguistic distance is negatively correlated with reported language skills of immigrants. Second, applying a gravity model to data on international trade flows covering 178 countries and 52 years, it is shown that linguistic distance has a strong negative influence on bilateral trade volumes.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 21 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 (05)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0965-7576|
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/subs.asp?ref=0965-7576|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Cristina Fernández & Carolina Ortega, 2008.
"Labor market assimilation of immigrants in Spain: employment at the expense of bad job-matches?,"
Spanish Economic Review,
Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 83-107, June.
- Cristina Fernández & Ana Carolina Ortega Masagué, 2006. "Labor Market Assimilation of Immigrants in Spain: Employment at the Expense of Bad Job-Matches?," Working Papers 2006-21, FEDEA.
- Fernandez, Cristina & Ortega, Carolina, 2006. "Labour market assimilation of immigrants in Spain: employment at the expense of bad job-matches?," IESE Research Papers D/644, IESE Business School.
- Ku, Hyejin & Zussman, Asaf, 2010. "Lingua franca: The role of English in international trade," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 250-260, August.
- David Reher & Miguel Requena, 2009. "The National Immigrant Survey of Spain. A new data source for migration studies in Europe," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 20(12), pages 253-278, March.
- repec:zbw:rwirep:0274 is not listed on IDEAS
- Alicia Adsera & Mariola Pytlikova, 2012.
"The role of language in shaping international migration,"
CReAM Discussion Paper Series
1206, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
- Alicia Adsera & Mariola Pytlikova, 2012. "The role of language in shaping international migration," Norface Discussion Paper Series 2012014, Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London.
- Adsera, Alicia & Pytlikova, Mariola, 2012. "The Role of Language in Shaping International Migration," IZA Discussion Papers 6333, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Petroni, Filippo & Serva, Maurizio, 2010. "Measures of lexical distance between languages," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 389(11), pages 2280-2283.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:reviec:v:21:y:2013:i:2:p:354-369. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)or (Christopher F. Baum)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.